Common Houseplants & Their Growth


Houseplants are placed in the home for decoration and color. Common houseplants are relatively easy to care for and adapt well to the indoor environment. A greenhouse habitat is not required in most cases. Basic care that applies to most common houseplants is easy to learn.

Common Houseplants

The common foliage houseplant is from tropical or subtropical environments. Most houseplants require a humid atmosphere with indirect light, which replicates the environment of the jungle. Collect information on your specific plant variety's needs as they may vary from other plants in your home.


Houseplants need proper light to grow. Plants vary in their light requirements, says Purdue University's website. Natural lighting is often sufficient for most plants. Placement near a window will give the correct light. The further placement from the window, the less direct light the plant receives. This may affect plant growth if the light is insufficient. Low-light plants require placement far away from a window, while high-light requirement plants require directly in front of a window. South-facing windows receive the most light, while north-facing windows get the least.


The temperature inside your home also affect the growth of your plant. A temperature between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 5 to 10 degrees lower in the night is best, since most houseplants are tropical to subtropical in origin. Extreme temperature changes will reduce growth and may shock the plant into losing some of its foliage. Keep the plant away from windows with drafts, recommends the University of Illinois website.


Adhere to the correct watering methods to encourage growth. Too little water will reduce the plant growth and cause foliage to droop or fall off. Check the plant soil on a daily basis to ensure it is moist to the touch. Tapping the side of the pot will also indicate whether the plant needs water; a hollow sound means the soil is dry. Water the plant thoroughly until water comes out of the bottom of the pot. A water-soluble fertilizer is added to the water every two to three weeks depending on the feeding requirements of your plant variety.


Repot the plant when its roots grow too large for its current pot. The pot is turned over in the spring when new growth starts. The plant is tapped until the soil comes out of the pot. When the roots are a solid mass in the soil, the plant requires a new pot. Replace the old pot with a new one that is 1 to 2 inches greater in diameter.

Keywords: houseplants, houseplant growth, houseplant needs

About this Author

Cleveland Van Cecil is a freelancer writer specializing in technology. He has been a freelance writer for three years and has published extensively on, writing articles on subjects as diverse as boat motors and hydroponic gardening. Van Cecil has a Bachelor of Arts in liberal arts from Baldwin-Wallace College.